The free market can be a remarkably competitive place, and if you don't know how to play your cards correctly, it's easy to be overlooked by customers who may need your products or services. Part of having a hand in this competition is the ability to be easily recognized by potential consumers. You want to stand out from the crowd and give buyers a reason to choose your brand over others. Spreading awareness can be crucial to making a name for yourself and your business. When people are familiar with you or your products, they will be more likely to go straight to you instead of researching other brands to fill their immediate needs. Having strong brand awareness opens the door to consumer trust and allows you to become widely accepted within your market place.
Brand awareness is a consumer's ability to recognize and remember your business. The greater brand awareness you may have, the more likely that someone will remember your products, logo, and market value. Ideally, brand awareness helps differentiate you from your competition.
Building brand awareness can be seen as the first stage of marketing. It introduces you to the market place and creates a sense of demand for your products. Through building awareness, you are creating familiarity. In a study done by Nielson, a consumer is 60% more likely to buy a product they are familiar with than one they aren't. This means that if a customer has seen or heard of you before, then they are 60% more inclined to choose you over your competition.
Now, think back to your college years when you went out to buy laundry detergent on your own for the first time. Did you buy a random unfamiliar brand off the shelf, or did you purchase the one your parents may have used - the one you were familiar with? Chances are you bought a brand that you had familiarity with. The same idea applies to your own business. The more familiar people are with you, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Brands build awareness into consumers' consciousness, whether they realize it or not. Think of those commercial jingles on TV that get painfully stuck in your head. Those same jingles are what that brand uses to make you familiar with their brand and their products, like McDonalds with “I'm lovin' it,” or Huggies with “I'm a big kid now!”. Each one of these brands has built an advertising scheme to get you to remember and become familiar with their brand and trust their products, which in the end, results in you buying their products over other leading competitors.
We aren't saying that you need to develop an award-winning jingle or slogan for your company to have good brand awareness. Though these slogans may help build excellent brand recognition, you can do many other things to help increase your brand awareness. Brand awareness ties into how you set yourself apart from your competition. It's the aspect that builds trust and reliability and parallels your customers' values and beliefs. The key is to be consistent so that with every encounter you have with potential customers, the image they perceive of you is strengthened. Other ways of helping increase your brand awareness may include freemiums, podcasts, PPC ads, or paid social advertising. Each of these tasks opens the door to allow you to expand the widespread knowledge of your brand and share a little bit of what you can do for potential new customers.
Think of all the ads you see on your Facebook feed in a day. Over time each of those brands become more and more familiar. You see their products and may become drawn into what else they have to offer you. This is a prime example of paid social advertising. This remarkably cheap form of advertising helps increase your exposure and adds a bit of familiarity for when customers are ready to go make a purchase.
Increasing your brand recognition does not necessarily mean that you have to go leaps and bounds above what you are already doing. It just enhances the tactics that you already have in place in order to increase your exposure and gain trust. Customers want to know that they can trust what they're spending their money on and showing them who you are over and over again can be the first step to gaining that trust. Remember, first impressions are always important and showing yourself in a positive light can go a long way in building your brand's awareness.